For Service on 4/5/20
WE LOOK FORWARD TO WELCOMING YOU SOON!
Wilder • ness
“state of the wild”
Lent begins in the wilderness. The Spirit guides Jesus into the wilderness where he comes face to face with temptation and struggle. Yet, in his forty days of fasting, resisting, and wandering, Jesus is shaped and formed for his ministry. Similarly, through the wilderness of Lent, we are invited to surrender to the wild leadings of the Spirit. We rarely enter the wilderness willingly, but hopefully through our wandering we remember who we are and whose we are. The wilderness can become sacred even if it remains dangerous. There is no wilderness space too harsh or threatening for God’s love. This Lent, we welcome you to the journey...
Cascading recent events and understandably raising anxieties and concerns. There's much we don't know about how current health issues will play out in the coming days and weeks, and the news we are hearing is unsettling.
Through it all, my faith also tells me to not be afraid. Even when I feel fearful, my faith reminds me to ground myself in hope -- the hope that springs from my knowledge that God is present and loves us more than we can contain.
My prayer for all us is that we find hope and reassurance amid the difficulties and unwelcomed events that life throws at us.
For each and every one of you, I remain grateful, thankful and blessed.
I am with you in this journey,
Pastor Robyn Hogue
Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary; they will walk and will not be faint.
I needed to drive to the church yesterday afternoon to get an essential paper I’d left in my office. I gave my car to Evan so he could get to where he needed to be later in the afternoon. His car had been towed from his apartment to the shop in the morning because it needed an emergency repair. I grabbed Larry’s extra car fob and pantomimed to him that I was taking his car. He nodded, but I knew he had no bandwidth to even take in my gestures while on the phone. He was on an important school-related phone call having to do with his learning how to teach music online starting this week.
I needed to make an efficient round trip to church. I needed to be in three places at once. Street traffic was understandably light given the request that as many as possible shelter in place during this COVID-19 virus outbreak. I figured I needed to get less stressed and the best way I could that was to take the focus off myself and on to others. So, as I drove along, I began to pray for the people in the other cars and for those who would have typically been on the roads, but were home.
As I traveled north on Jackson, I slowed my breathing. I thanked God for the beauty of the snow-capped Olympics to the west. Then after crossing the overpass, a beautiful bald eagle caught my attention. He/she was gracefully and gently circling in slow arcs on the updrafts high above the street. I was able to enjoy the gift for maybe thirty seconds before I needed to make my turn. What a gift.
I got to the church and got the things I needed. On my return trip, I was amazed to now see an eagle pair now soaring in those beautiful and lazy arcs. They were close to where I’d see the single eagle earlier, but not exactly. Their choreography entranced me. I pulled to the side of the street and took a few moments to simply rest in awe. Then, I had to get on to other things.
As I drove along, I asked the Lord, “What are You wanting to say to me?” I asked it out loud. I often talk to the Lord when it's just us in the car. By the time I was halfway home I was singing “On Eagle’s Wings” or at least the words I could remember.
It was a beautiful gift in a very full 48-hour period.
This afternoon I turned again to Isaiah 40:31—thinking how we all need to renew our strength, run when needed and not grow weary, walk when needed and not be faint—thinking how we need to stay home as much as possible without feeling isolated. A Native American friend of mine encourages me to look to the messages of the animal spirit guides as a part of God’s wisdom for me. So, today I did the search. Perhaps there’s a word in here to you from our Holy Spirit. I know there has been for me.
“In most cases, the appearance of eagle symbolism in your life, means that it is time to reconnect with your spiritual path. You must listen to and heed your spiritual directives as well as your heart. In other words, eagle symbolism reminds you to allow them both to lead the way for you at this time. When you can find yourself in this state of flight, then all the doors will open. Like a beacon – your heart will follow the light. Alternatively, eagle meaning also brings about powerful connections and messages from the source of creation. This bird’s presence brings you closer to your true self. Also, you must now be ready to take advantage of any opportunities that come to you, as they will bear abundant fruit. Moreover, this is a time that will require strength and courage as well as your leadership skills.” (www.spirit-animals.com)
With you in this journey,